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Iowa Republican to Tea Party: We hear you

An article on the Sioux City Journal website yesterday has quotes from Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen regarding the upcoming election, the tea party movement, and the results of government activity at the state and federal level:

“If you haven’t noticed, a movement was created over the last 15 months,” Paulsen said. “Massive federal intervention in the form of bailouts and takeovers has many Iowans feeling frustrated, powerless, helpless. Frustration and exasperation with their government has made them pay attention. It is time to give Iowan’s their state back.”

You can read the full article at the Sioux City Journal online

Or by reading it after the jump…

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Republican Leaders Live with Register Editorial Board This Morning

Republican House Leader Kraig Paulsen and Republican Senate Leader Paul McKinley will meet with the Des Moines Register editorial board this morning at 9 am. They will be discussing how they plan to cope with the state budget crisis in the next year and what their longer term visions for Iowa will be.

You can watch live on the Des Moines Register’s site.

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Capitol Cash: A Series on Tax-Saving Ideas

blackberryThe Des Moines Register is running a series named Capitol Cash: A Series on Tax-Saving Ideas.

THIS WEEK: Cellphones

IDEA: Eliminate state-issued cellular telephones/BlackBerry-like mobile devices.

WHO SUGGESTED: An anonymous citizen via a House Republican Web site.

CURRENT COSTS: Iowa’s state employees have been issued 1,177 Blackberries, according to a report released in September by the Iowa Department of Administrative Services. Iowa’s total cell phone/BlackBerry monthly bills during 2008 were $2.1 million, according to the department.

Continue reading…

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Leader Paulsen Explains Revenue and 2010 Goals

Iowa House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen explains why Governor Culver’s comments regarding the budget are misleading. He explains why it’s the net, not the gross figure that’s important. Then he explains GOP goals in the House for 2010.

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Iowa state salary levels questioned, defended

Covering Iowa Politics (coveriowapolitics.com) did a follow-up story on an article we posted last week about State employee salaries in Iowa.

Figures showing Iowa’s state employees ranked in the top 10 in average salaries in 2007 are raising concerns from some Republicans and business interests, but other state officials are questioning their accuracy.

Numbers compiled by the Legislative Services Agency showed Iowa ranked ninth in the country for average monthly salary of state employees. The ranking was based on U.S. Census Bureau data compiled by the LSA.

Those numbers found the average monthly salary of state workers or “full-time equivalents” was $4,479 in 2007.
Those numbers were quoted on the Iowa House Republicans’ Web site last month and have been circulated recently.

House Minority Leader Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha, said any data he’s seen has shown state employees make “significantly more” than the average Iowan

“I think that state government should reflect, you know, what’s going on with real, everyday Iowans, and I’m not sure in this case that it does,” Paulsen said.

Troy Price, spokesman for Gov. Chet Culver, said the figures by the state’s Department of Administrative Services, or DAS, show the state would not be ranked in the top ten for employee salaries.

Continue reading “Iowa state salary levels questioned, defended”

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Follow the Money

Any government spending spree, whether it’s the one taking place at the federal level or like the one engaged in by Iowa’s legislative Democrats, is bound to result in waste. If there’s no transparency for how the money is being spent, there’s no accountability to make sure that it is being spent wisely.

A story today brings one example of this issue to light. ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper followed the money being spent as part of the federal stimulus plan. The White House issued a report called “100 Days, 100 Projects” which details how the stimulus money is being spent on 100 different projects.

Tapper’s article today focuses on Project #55, which just happens to be in Davenport. The article states:

Project #55 in the report states that: “With the help of Recovery Act funding, Zeglin’s Home TV & Appliance, a locally-owned and operated company, is currently replacing stoves in Public Housing units in Davenport, Iowa, with American-made Whirlpool appliances.”

The reality: Zeglins TV & Appliance, Inc. in Davenport, recently placed an order for 160 stoves and refrigerators for public housing.

The order “is certainly helping an independent businessman like myself keep making payroll,” owner Jeff Zeglin told ABC News.

But… this was a project that had already been approved by Davenport city council to be paid for by federal monies, Margaret Murphy the Assisted Housing Manager for the city, tells ABC News.

When the stimulus bill passed, some astute city workers realized they could have some of that order paid for by the stimulus because of the American steel used in the stoves.

So the city of Davenport submitted $13,000 for 42 stoves (and installation) paid for by the stimulus.

The point is: those stoves would have been purchased and installed anyway.

The full article and a video can be found here: link

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Auditor Vaudt Reviews FY 2010 Budget

The Auditor released his review of the FY 2010 budget yesterday. Here is a summary of the talking points:

  • While certain agencies and programs had their general fund spending cut, overall spending went up. $5.9 billion in FY 08, $6.1 billion in FY 09 and $6.3 billion in FY 10. (FY 09 and FY 10 include federal stimulus funds used for general fund purposes.) The Democrats are saying they cut the budget, but this just isn’t true.
  • The FY 07 budget (the last budget approved by House Republicans) spent $1.01 for every $1.00 of ongoing revenue. The FY 2010 budget spent $1.14 for every $1.00 of ongoing revenue. That is simply not sustainable and leaves a gigantic spending gap in FY 2011.
  • The Auditor believes the spending gap between revenue and expenditures in FY 2011 is $1.062 billion. If the remaining federal stimulus dollars are used to help fill the gap, it would mean the state would need 15 percent revenue growth in FY 2011 to make up the difference between revenue and spending.
  • revenues-vs-expenditures

  • According to the Auditor, $248 million was shifted out of the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF) for general fund purposes. If these funds were allowed to remain in the RIIF, the entire I-Jobs program could have been funded on a pay-as-you-go basis in less than 6 years.
  • Borrowing $1.664 billion to receive $765 million in net bond proceeds means that for every $1 of construction in the next 2 years, it will cost the taxpayers $2.18 over the next 25 years.

For a copy of the news release and PowerPoint presentation, click here (PDF). Also, we linked to it yesterday, but here it is again. The Auditor has put up a video on Youtube discussing the state’s budget situation.

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Iowa State Auditor Budget Update

The State Auditor, David Vaudt, put a video up on Youtube detailing his analysis of Iowa’s budget in the current and in future fiscal years. Watch the video below:

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Flashback: 2007 Newspaper Editorials on House Democratic Plans to Gut Right to Work

On Sunday Feb. 4 the Sioux City Journal nailed what the Democrat’s plan is about: “Although the legislation technically would not repeal Iowa’s Right to Work law, its essential effect would be the same – forced unionism of workers.”

On Tuesday Jan. 30 the Wall Street Journal called the Democrat’s effort to gut Right to Work the “Iowa Emigration Act”.

The Journal stated “If the Iowa Legislature wanted to chase jobs and employers out of the state, they couldn’t come up with a better plan than undermining right to work.”

Also according to the Journal:
“Right to work laws are strongly correlated with faster growth in jobs and personal income.”

“A recent survey by the National Right to Work Institute found that, between 1986 and 2006, 11 right-to-work states have added 104,000 auto manufacturing jobs, a 63% increase. The non right-to-work states lost 130,000 auto jobs, or 15% over the same period.”

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register noted in his column on Jan. 30 that,:
“…lawyers and others trying to craft the legislation to enact it are discovering that they can’t do it without gutting part of the right-to-work law. (That law also says it’s illegal to collect “dues, charges, fees, contributions, fines or assessments to any labor union, labor association or labor organization” as a condition of employment.)

Labor is saying, “You promised fair share.” Democratic legislators are saying, “You didn’t tell us we’d have to gut the right-to-work law to do it.” Labor replies: “So what’s wrong with that?”

Continue reading…

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Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen on Mediacom Newsleaders

House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen was interviewed by Mediacom Newsleaders. The interview will be airing between the dates January 19th through February 19th on Mediacom channel 30 as part of CNN Headline News.

The segments appear on a rotating basis at the top and bottom of each hour of CNN Headline News.

The clip will eventually be put up on the Mediacom website at: http://www.Connections22.com

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Dansette